Are you sabotaging your sleep  ?

by Dr. Alan Kadish

Are you losing sleep ? How often do you find yourself checking your phone or reading via a tablet or other electronic device before or when you crawl into bed ? (Need some help, check in red below).

If your  nightly habit consists of either of these endeavors your sleep will suffer. It’s no longer a question of how much time or other factors per se, but more about resetting your ability to consistently have good deep and healthy refreshing sleep. Sleep is equivalent to recharging your batteries.

A quick solution….. do your necessary catch ups before bed, change to a paper or other style of book and or perhaps some easy tasks in the house in lower light areas or even some good tunes….. no not on the electronic device.

The key factors we are wanting you to address is the clear science behind the blue light emitted by the displays, regardless of the device being your computer screen, phone, tablet, etc. Your eyes translate the light energy to the brain where the pituitary gland gets the wrong message……it’s time to be awake….and your sleep is no longer what nature intended.

To get more deep refreshing sleep also consider using melatonin, a natural supplement, before bed. If you’re absolutely up against a time crunch or you’re unwilling to consider an alternative to the ipad/phone etc. this may be a viable starting point to help you sleep. The good news with using melatonin is it’s essentially non-toxic, inexpensive and has a ton of good scientific research showing many benefits. 

Please consider talking with me about your sleep patterns and how it impacts your health. Sleep is an essential part of all wellness plans.  

At the Center we  utilize a host of smartphone applications to monitor your sleep patterns (safely), along with other tools and can give you the real insight into how you sleep. A full recharge, nightly,  is the only way to achieve maximal function in your life.

Why let intrusions into your health and wellness cost you any decline in your quality of life ? We look forward to making your sleep an integral part of your health plan. Call us for an appointment.

One of the newest articles on this subject is:

The article appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Anne-Marie Chang, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1418490112

Evening use of light-emitting eReaders negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness

Anne-Marie Changa, Daniel Aeschbach, Jeanne F. Duffy and Charles A. Czeislera

Significance

The use of light-emitting electronic devices for reading, communication, and entertainment has greatly increased recently. We found that the use of these devices before bedtime prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep, delays the circadian clock, suppresses levels of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, reduces the amount and delays the timing of REM sleep, and reduces alertness the following morning.

Use of light-emitting devices immediately before bedtime also increases alertness at that time, which may lead users to delay bedtime at home.

Overall, we found that the use of portable light-emitting devices immediately before bedtime has biological effects that may perpetuate sleep deficiency and disrupt circadian rhythms, both of which can have adverse impacts on performance, health, and safety.

Abstract

In the past 50 years, there has been a decline in average sleep duration and quality, with adverse consequences on general health. A representative survey of 1,508 American adults recently revealed that 90% of Americans used some type of electronics at least a few nights per week within 1 h before bedtime. Mounting evidence from countries around the world shows the negative impact of such technology use on sleep.

This negative impact on sleep may be due to the short-wavelength–enriched light emitted by these electronic devices, given that artificial-light exposure has been shown experimentally to produce alerting effects, suppress melatonin, and phase-shift the biological clock. A few reports have shown that these devices suppress melatonin levels, but little is known about the effects on circadian phase or the following sleep episode, exposing a substantial gap in our knowledge of how this increasingly popular technology affects sleep.

Here we compare the biological effects of reading an electronic book on a light-emitting device (LE-eBook) with reading a printed book in the hours before bedtime. Participants reading an LE-eBook took longer to fall asleep and had reduced evening sleepiness, reduced melatonin secretion, later timing of their circadian clock, and reduced next-morning alertness than when reading a printed book. These results demonstrate that evening exposure to an LE-eBook phase-delays the circadian clock, acutely suppresses melatonin, and has important implications for understanding the impact of such technologies on sleep, performance, health, and safety.

“Sleep deficiency has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes, and cancer,” study coauthor Charles Czeisler of the Brigham and Harvard told BBC News. “Thus, the melatonin suppression that we saw in this study among participants when they were reading from the light-emitting e-reader concerns us.”

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Dr. Kadish is an unusual physician often referred to as a "doctor detective". His expertise is the evaluation and treatment of complex disorders, typically after other physicians have been stumped, is renowned. He provides care for all family members and has additional training in autistic spectrum disorders and chronic complex diseases.